American Elephants

Sixty Three Percent of Non-Citizen Households Use Welfare by The Elephant's Child

The Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that studies the problems and triumphs of the immigration system is firmly pro-immigrant but anti-illegal immigrant. We are a country of laws, and we have immigration laws, which presumably are meant to be obeyed.

Their most recent, and troubling headline: “63% of Non-Citizen Households Use Welfare, Justifying Public Charge Concerns.”

Washington, D.C. (December 3, 2018) – The Trump administration has proposed new “public charge” rules making it harder for prospective immigrants to qualify for lawful permanent residence (green cards) if they use or are likely to use U.S. welfare programs. Center for Immigration Studies analysis of Census Bureau data shows that concern over immigrant welfare use is justified, as households headed by non-citizens use means-tested welfare at high rates. Non-citizens in the data include illegal immigrants, long-term temporary visitors like guest workers, and permanent residents who have not naturalized. While barriers to welfare use exist for these groups, it has not prevented them from making extensive use of the welfare system, often receiving benefits on behalf of U.S.-born children.

Steven Camarota, the Center’s director of research and the report’s lead author, observes, “Although most immigrants work, a large share have low levels of education resulting in low incomes – the primary reason so many access the welfare system. Either we select future immigrants unlikely to need welfare by emphasizing skills and education, or we accept the welfare burden that comes from our current immigration system.

The full report is to be found here.

  • In 2014, 63 percent of households headed by a non-citizen reported that they used at least one welfare program, compared to 35 percent of native-headed households.
  • Welfare use drops to 58 percent for non-citizen households and 30 percent for native households if cash payments from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are excluded. EITC recipients pay no income tax and like other welfare, the EITC is a means-tested anti-poverty program, but unlike other programs one has to work to receive it.
  • Compared to native households, non-citizen households have much higher use of food programs (45 percent vs. 21 percent

CIS suggested a year or so ago that a border wall would pay for itself in the decreased cost of welfare programs used by illegal immigrants, not to mention the decreased cost of drugs funneled through the southern border. Whether that holds true for the border walls now being considered, I do not know, but that effect is apparently not being considered by Congress in their discussions of President Trump’s proposed border wall.

Democrats want more legal and illegal immigrants, to shift the 2020 Census. That’s the reason for Sanctuary Cities, the fight against any border wall, and the constant claim that Republicans are racist, which is supposed to apply in all cases. That claim is supposed to end any departure of blacks from the Democratic Party, for they can’t afford to lose the black vote. It would be helpful if we could just access some facts without the politics.


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